My favorite go-to meals

Being a stay at home mama of two, very busy, little girls, I have found that easy recipes are a MUST in my house! Now, I love to cook! Love love love it!! I am even that annoying person that plans every meal and loves to go shopping for all of the food. But these past few weeks I have been adjusting to our new summer schedule and it is throwing me through a loop!! I have little to no time to get food ready and by the time I remember to prep anything it’s already to late.

I figured I wasn’t alone in this weird battle of time, so I thought I would share some of my EASY no brainer, meals with no fancy names!

1) spaghetti squash and meatballs In the crock pot: are you ready for this one?! One spaghetti squash cut in the middle (not cut long ways) seeds out, one package of frozen meatballs (Italian is our fav and I LOVE the ones from trader joes!), and one jar of your favorite go to pasta sauce. Put a little bit of sauce at the bottom of your crock pot, place squash cut side down, dump meatballs all around, pour the rest of the sauce on top of meat balls, cover and let cook on low for 5 hours! Ta-da!!! I have found that this is the BEST way to get spaghetti squash so tender!! It’s totally yum and my girls gobble it up!

2) shrimp and broccoli – first of all, you may want to prep your shrimp ahead of time if they are not deveined or shell off. Set aside. cut up broccoli and pour olive oil, salt and pepper and about a teaspoon of cumin on top. Mix well in a bowl and then dump on a cookie sheet. Cook at 425 for about 10 minutes. While your broccoli is cooking, put your shrimp in a bowl and squeeze half of a lemon on top, add salt and pepper to taste. Now, pull out the broccoli and dump the shrimp on the sheet and cook everything together for another 10 minutes! I take this and eat over a bed of rice! But THIS is my favorite blend!!

3) Stromboli!! – if you have not discovered this wonderfulness then NOW is your time!! You can easily buy a pack of already made pizza crust but I like to make my own in one big batch and freeze some for later. Roll out pizza crust long ways (not your typical pizza shape) and layer any and all favorite toppings! We do ham, pepperoni, sausage crumbles and then 2 different cheeses. Normally whatever I have on hand but NEVER the “American cheese” squares In film. You will want good cheese for this. Go to your deli counter and get 3-4 slices of 2 kinds. Trust me, it’s cheaper! We do not add sauce because honestly, it doesn’t need it. Roll up your Stromboli long ways into a log shape and then seal up! I like to cover the top of my Stromboli with olive oil and sprinkle garlic powder and Italian seasonings on it! Follow the directions on your crust package for how long and how high to cook it. For my pizza crust it’s 425 for about 20 minutes. Cut out slices and serve with something lite like fruit and veggies.

These are just a few of our favorite meals that I am sure my husband will be sick of soon enough.

Tell me some of your favorite go-to meals for this summer!

Random thought Series: #1

Random thought series: #1

 

I have a lot of random things that I think about and so I thought it would only be appropriate to just start a series of sorts. Sometimes they may be something worth reading and other times its a good excuse for me to talk about it.

 

Let’s begin…

 

Random thought #1:

 

I FEEL SO JUDGED AT THE GYM!!!

 

Yes. This is a common theme amongst all gyms.

I don’t care if you go to the best gym in town where everyone knows everyone.

You still feel like people are sizing you up.

You still feel the stares.

 

So. You start to fix your hair. Pull your shirt down or look at yourself in the mirror examining every single part to make sure there is nothing they can make fun of you for.

 

Are you just beginning? Well, Don’t get on that treadmill next to the 5’5, 115lb girl that is running like a BEAST! Her hair is still perfect even though it is dripping in sweat and she probably still smells good! ::gah!::

 

Then there is me. I walk in with one kid on my hip, one kid pulling me inside because her hunky dad is lifting weights and has been for soooo long that people are STILL teasing him about the arms (a.k.a. “guns”) that he carries around. People look at this mess I called “pulled together” with my dirty hair pulled back, no make up and I look like I should sleep for a few days!

 

I jump on the elliptical and turn on the best dance music I can find because that’s what motivates me. I get into a zone and all of the sudden I start thinking to myself. (because you know, once the kids are gone and you can actually think to yourself for once, this DOES happen)

 

Everyone has their own journey. I look at some of the girls that are so beautiful and I don’t look at them like they are competition but instead admire them. Who knows why they are here? Maybe they have a personal goal set to run 5 miles. It might even be a deeper issue for them that no one knows about? What about those teens that are working out? I always wonder why they are there. When I was a teen you would have never caught me in a gym! Are they working hard to be a better football player? Maybe a coach told them they couldn’t be on a team this year but to ‘bulk up a little’ and maybe, just maybe.. they will be considered. Maybe there are some woman there that yes, they look like they got it all together but in real life. They don’t. The gym is their only outlet.

 

Or maybe. They’re a mom just like me. Their goals aren’t huge but they just want to see some change. They just want to do this one thing for themselves and going to the gym is that thing.

 

I am no pro at the gym. It is so easy to feel so self conscience about the people around you. I challenge you the next time that you go to just smile at the people around you. Whether you are a pro at the gym or you have 100lbs to lose. Everyone is there for their own personal reason. Keep saying to yourself “good for them!” and smile.

 

Smiling is my favorite :)

 

 

Confessions of a Foodie

Foodie: Slang (from the World Dictionary)

noun – a person having an enthusiastic interest in preparation and consumption of good food.

 

I have recently started referring to myself as a “foodie”.

Not because I think I am a food ADDICT but I just solely LOVE food!

I love everything that surrounds food. I love cooking, I love hosting parties, I love company, I love trying new things, I love to travel and eat their food, I love cookbooks, I love how food brings everyone together and good conversations come from that. Don’t hate me but I even LOVE to grocery shop!!! ::GASP::

I don’t have a favorite dish because I have come to love it all.

Appetizers, simple lunches, fresh food from the market, gourmet meals, decadent desserts and a simple homemade meal from my mama. All of these things make me happy.

I didn’t start this new journey of eating healthy to rid myself of all of this food goodness. That’s something that I am hoping to learn in the midst of all of this is how to still enjoy my food and everything that comes with it and still live a healthy and full life.

My mom stated on my Facebook page well, “I just want to be a healthier version of myself”

I’m not out to be someone else or have the same goals as this person or that. I want to live a FULL life and for me that involves food.

I have decided that I will set a goal for myself that by my birthday (May 19th) that I want to fit back into my smaller jeans and not be so tired all the time. I want to lose 15-20 pounds by then and just feel happy with myself. I just don’t want to drive myself crazy with the thought of food hanging over my head. I don’t want to be a friend that people don’t feel like they can’t hang out with because I’m on a crazy diet, heck for that matter I just don’t want them to feel awkward around me. I want to be invited to that coffee shop or even that awesome bakery downtown. I am still ME! I am still that foodie. I am still cooking for me and for my friends. I can still be my normal food loving self all while I cook a lavish dinner for my husband or go to that new restaurant with friends.

Sure all of this change comes with some restrictions. Like I said, this is a LIFE change, nothing temporary. So with that my foodie side needs to fit into my healthy side.

I haven’t read any of Bethenny Frankle’s books but she has a quote that I try to (notice I say try) when it comes to enjoying food…

“taste everything but eat nothing” – basically this applies to when you are at a party. When you see all of this glorious food before you you taste it but you don’t devour it. (i.e. going back for seconds or thirds). You’re at a birthday party and you want cake, take one bite or two but thats it. I love this philosophy for myself. I tend to be happy with just that one bite and with Bethenny’s thoughts on this is once you have tasted everything the calorie intake will be about the same as a full meal. (side note: you are an adult and I shouldn’t have to tell you that this doesn’t mean if its a dessert bar you fill your plate. Let’s be real about this…)

With all of this being said I also want to say thank you to every single person that has reached out to me. You have offered so much help, tips, services, guidance and just flat out love. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I want to say this cause I know a lot of people can relate but, this ain’t my first rodeo… I wish it was. I wish this was my first time battling out this weight loss thing and that I was clueless with what to do. Unfortunately, since before kids I have felt that I needed to lose weight. No, no one has told me that I needed too but its just a personal struggle that I have had. I can’t believe that before my wedding day I was trying to lose weight. Now, my wedding weight is currently my goal weight…

I know what to do. The knowledge is there. I know what I should and shouldn’t eat. I know how to work out and the studying I have done on this matter over the last 4 years is stupid! I told my friend that I should be a freaking model by now! HA!

But alas, I love food. I love everything that involves food. So my goal over the next few months is to embrace my love of food, make things healthier, still have friends over and still be a foodie.

 

 

 

 

It’s time…

It’s time.

 

It’s time that I am honest with myself and with the world (if you’re reading this).

I am over weight.

There, I said it.

In fact This is the heaviest I have ever been!

Yes, I have had 2 kids. Yes I am busy and yes I may have an excuse or two.

But….

I am not happy.

I’m happy with my life. My kids. My incredible husband.

But with myself? Heck no.

It’s true what they say that you are your worst critic. You want to hear something crazy?!

I DIDN’T CARE!

I didn’t care enough about myself to look in the mirror and admit that crap, I have gained a ton of weight.

 

Now. To some people they look at me and don’t think that at all. (thank you btw) Also, some of you may think that I am insanely confident. Happy with myself and all that jazz. Want to know why I only take pictures of myself from the neck up? Because I can easily hide the rest of me. In fact, I have gotten so good at taking pictures of my face that I can make it look like I am skinnier that what I am. (true story) I say this because when someone else takes a picture of me they don’t care about the angle, the light and whatever. All they want is a picture of me with them. So then I see the pic they took and I about DIE IN HORROR when I see my belly bulging out, my thighs as big as the mountains and that chin that I hide so well in my own pictures is starting to slowly hang in others.

 

I am not saying all of this to get pitty. Nope. I dont want it.

I am saying all of this because its time.

It’s time that I finally get serious and make a LIFE COMMITMENT to change the way I eat on a daily bases, exercise at least 5 days a week and dig DEEPER into myself and be happy with myself.

 

Finally be happy.

 

I don’t know what to expect in all of this. I’m nervous.

The biggest and longest commitment I have ever made has been my marriage!

We eat healthy as a family but I am a bored snacker. I eat when I am bored and I tend to be hungry whenever and wherever. Also, I have a HARD time stopping. If something is good I will unknowingly eat it all. I have realized that the time I spend sitting down I could be doing multiple things, one including exercise.

 

What do I plan to get out of all of this you may ask?

A smaller waist? sure…

Lose some weight? yep

Be a little bit happier with myself? of course

But most importantly I want to learn how to take better care of myself because God told me too.  I am doing this for myself, yes, but I am also doing this for the Lord. I feel like I have really let him down. I preach this life of healthy eating (which we do) but yet I am gaining weight. I don’t exercise, I havent done anything with dancing in years, and now I am really starting to hate looking in the mirror.

 

I’m putting this out there to the world. This hasn’t been my first time but I am hoping this is my last. I also hope that I can be of an encouragement to someone. I dont know how yet but when I get there I will bring you on with me.

man, I really hate exercising….

My Journey to 2: Part one

I have been meaning to put this out there for a LONG time so here it is…. my journey to 2

My journey to two: Part One

The decision was easy for us. We wanted another baby. After the loss of a baby in the summer of 2011 a lot in our life had changed. We moved to another city, BJ started his job in a new area and sage was growing before our eyes. It took me awhile to come around to the thought of another baby. The fear of not making it through another pregnancy was terrifying. Knowing my trust was in The Lord was, for me, not enough to take that leap just yet.

After the move and feeling adjusted friends started having babies and the buzz for me kicked in. We knew we wanted more kids so we decided that while in Italy we would have fun trying to get pregnant. ;)

Italy was amazing!! It was everything we had hoped for and we experienced more then we could imagine. Upon getting home I was SUPER anxious to find out if I was pregnant. Within a week of being home my hunger kicked in and then a few weeks later I noticed the weight I fought so hard to lose was flying back with a vengeance. Pregnancy test after pregnancy test continued to show negative but I refused to believe it! After week five I called my OB’s office and made an appointment to have my blood drawn. After a few days of waiting I got the call and I was right, we were pregnant!!

I couldn’t believe it. I laughed right away because it was effortless and then started crying while looking at sage giggling not even knowing what to expect once the baby was here.

Over the next few month my body took a turn for the worse! I was SO SICK! I had no idea how to deal either because I had the pregnancy with Sage that everyone hated. Perfect. Never sick, craved icee’s, and gained just enough weight. You better believe I started doing some serious research on how to feel better!! It took a few weeks but the remedy of B6 and magnesium (then eventually Unisom) helped take the edge off and by week 16 I started to come around and feel more like myself.

Second trimester was in full gear and we were getting close to finding out what we were having. Although, at this point, I had gained maybe 5 pounds, my belly stuck out like a sore thumb! We already had a girl and the buzz for a boy was SUPER high! All of my siblings had girls and my cousin had a girl on the way. My side of the family was desperate for a boy so when the day came to find out we were beyond anxious.

I decided to have a small gender reveal party. My thought was, it’s a boy, how awesome would it be to find out as a family AT THE SAME TIME! I had a close friend take the results from the ultra sound, blow up the appropriate colored balloons and wrap them in a pretty box to open with my family. The drive to Fort Wayne was unreal but it suddenly hit me, my mind had changed. I knew it was a girl. My heart sunk because we wanted a boy so badly. I. Felt. Horrible. How would I react? I don’t even have a name picked out! Sage is so dramatic, can I handle another? Before we pulled up to my parents house I said to my husband “if it’s a girl I think we should name her after my grandma Becky (Rebecca) I just really think in my heart that’s what we’re suppose to do”

We had a great dinner with family and all gathered around for the big reveal. I was nervous to say the least. My sister, Chelsea, made cute cut outs of girls bows or a mustache for a boy. Everyone made their guess we took a few pictures and then slowly started opening the box.

BJ carefully cut through the top and suddenly out flew PINK BALLOONS and everyone started laughing! We did it again. Another girl. No boys to be had in the Federspiel clan and all we could do was laugh.

Going home that weekend was very surreal to me.”Another girl” – that’s all I kept saying. Then BJ made a very profound statement. “You know Cherith… I really think God is entrusting us with another girl for a reason. To raise up Godly woman with a passion to be different”

Once he said that to me my whole feeling of having another girl changed. That’s also the night we named her. Sage has been calling the baby Cinderella for a month at this point. So Ella was her name and Rebecca as her middle to honor my grandmother. We also have a thing about meanings. I truly believe the meaning of your child’s name plays a huge part in who they will become.

Ella – “All” (also: “beautiful fairy goddess” :))

Rebecca- “uniting; binding”

All uniting. All binding.

We don’t know what or how God is going to use her But we know he (and sage) named her and she is going to do something amazing.

Then there were 4!

For over 2 years we have enjoyed the life of our little girl Sage Madison. Over the past two years we have loved watching her grow up, become this little lady, and have such character that we could never imagine. Also in the last 2 years we have been thru a lot as a family. BJ and I hit hard times in our marriage, we experienced our first lost with a baby last year and then the beginning of this year we moved our family to a new city to help with a new church. Changes have come and gone quickly in our house. The thought of adding to our family was not in the forefront of our minds. After seeing Sage grow into this little person and out of the baby stage, our desire to have another baby grew deeply and this past September we found out that we are indeed having another baby!

To say that we are excited is an understatement. We LOVE Sage with all of our hearts and the thought of having another like her (or opposite of her) boggles our minds but we wouldn’t change it for anything. Sage is thrilled to be a big sister and has spilled the beans to a few people a little soon HA! But it was hilarious and she just couldn’t help herself. She has loved calling family and telling them that she is going to be a big sister and almost daily rubs my belly. I can’t believe that it has been 3 years since I have been pregnant and Sage will be 3 and a half when the new baby arrives. I have been told this is a great distance between baby one and two. So we are excited for what will happen. Right now we are just trying to get through this first trimester as it is drastically different from when I was pregnant with Sage!

Which leads me to this new stage of pregnancy that I haven’t experienced before; SICKNESS! I never went thru this constant feeling of weakness and nausea with Sage. I have somewhat gotten a handle on it with taking B6 and eating every hour. I never thought I would say that I am sick of eating but good lord, I AM SO SICK OF EATING!!!! I am never without food but even when I do eat its very small portions and I lose interest very quickly. My taste changes hourly and it is such a pain. I haven’t been able to make dinner (besides simple things like soup and PB&J’s) for over 6 weeks if not more. I have barely ventured to the grocery store because it makes me want to lose my stomach. And unfortunately my house has paid for this terribly because I can’t stand or do too much without getting sick. I haven’t “lost it” yet and I am hoping that day never comes. I’m thankful for great resources and friends that have been thru this already and understand where I am coming from and can help.

On the flip side of being sick, you would think I would be losing weight but in fact I gained very quickly this first trimester. In fact, I also “popped” very quickly with this baby. I am super conscience about it knowing I wasn’t in the greatest shape before we got pregnant so the fact that I look even bigger is hard for me to be ok with. With Sage I didn’t start showing until 17 weeks so I think this is a shock with everyone when they see me and lately I have been getting a lot of “Are you sure you’re not having TWINS!?” Well, I can tell you this, we have already seen baby and if there were two the ultra sound tech didn’t do her job very well at all. You must remember this is my 3rd pregnancy and because I’m not super skinny my body decided to prep far in advance and give this baby room. So I know you all mean well, but please stop asking if there are twins. There aren’t. I promise.

I’m very interested to see how this pregnancy plays out. With Sage I had a natural pregnancy and birth. (Natural meaning no medical interventions and no extra medication unless it was detrimental) I hired a Doula as a labor coach to help guide us with the natural pregnancy in a hospital setting. This time around we will not be hiring a Doula and the closest birthing center to us is in Muncie which is too far for my liking. I ordered a GREAT book that has been a huge source of information as to natural supplements to all of these new discomforts. It was written by a midwife, it’s called “The Natural Pregnancy book”. Because I am doing this semi “on my own” with an OB I wanted to feel well equipped. I mean, it has been 3 YEARS since the last time I was pregnant.

I’m really excited to share in this new journey with everyone. We are so excited to finally expand our family. We love being parents to Sage so the thought of being privileged with another is unbelievable. If you think about us and this pregnancy please pray for continued peace and strength. Peace in knowing this baby will see us thru into our arms. Due to our last pregnancy you can’t help but think about it and wonder. Satan really does know how to get in your head and we are quick to pray against it. We know this baby has a purpose. Also, with strength to get through this first trimester. It may sound so silly (especially if you had amazing health with each pregnancy) but we are ready for mama to be back to normal!! LOL Daddy is pulling double duty most days and I can’t thank him enough for how much he has dealt with in these last 6 weeks. He has made most dinners, dealt with a needy kiddo and mama, dealt with his own job, cleaning the house and doing dishes daily. He deserves a mini vacation of “wifely duties” :)

Thanks again for reading this. I know I don’t write much anymore but I always dream that someday, that will change!

Love-

The new family of 4

Potty Training Mama

This past week I have had the pleasure of Potty Training my 2 ½ year old. It’s been a long time coming because she has been ready for awhile. By the time she was 18 months her interest to go potty in the toilet was there and by 20-24 months she knew when she was messing in her pants and started hiding to poop. BUT my husband and I were in limbo with our move so we decided to wait to PT (potty train) until then. Well, after 3 months of moving I decided to give it a go with potty training and I was NOT successful. I got distracted easily, wasn’t able to dedicate my day to her and when she had her first accident it was so traumatic that she REFUSED to sit on the toilet and at that point I decided that I was not going to make this a bad experience for her. Tried again a week later and she held her pee for 4 HOURS!!!! I definitely tried to soon for the second round and then decided that I don’t want to deal with a bladder infection. I needed to collect myself, get into my resources and seriously start talking to Sage about the new event in her life… Going potty like a big girl J

Today I am writing this post to put together the collection of information I have read for all you mama’s out there that feel you are ready to jump into this thing called potty training. It is true what they say “The Parents are really the ones in training. Your kid is just along for the ride” It’s so important that you, as the parent, are ready for this big day and can devote your time into it. And after your one big day you have to be on top of it until they are in a place to start telling you they have to potty. SO, with that being said… here are a few tips that I have found very helpful (collected from friends, family and the web)

**DISCLAIMER** I must tell you that this is pure opinion. I am no pro. This is my first time and only kid. My child is a girl and I have been told numerous times that boy’s and girl’s train differently or at least at different times. BUT I think the things I have noticed are pretty well rounded and I felt that it was put best in a blog. That’s where I got tips and I want to make sure I share them with you.

Pre “GO” day:

1.)    Talk it up and prep your child in advance – We have been talking about being a big girl and getting rid of diapers for a few months. Most of our friends only got to talk about it for a few weeks or even days with their kids, which is still good. Every time we changed her we would say simple things like “big girls don’t have diapers. Sage you are a big girl and I can’t wait until you pee and poop in the potty”. We would also mention her favorite people that go potty (ie. Grandma’s, grandpa’s, close cousins and friends) We wanted her to be very aware of how GOOD it was to pee in the potty. PLEASE do not make your child feel like a failure for using a diaper. Only encourage. Encouragement goes a LONG WAY!

2.)    YOU Prep in advance – Read everything that there is to be reading. Take your child with you when you go potty (including daddy for the boys!). Think ahead of when you have 3 days to dedicate your time and plan it. If you are a stay at home mom prepare during the week. If you work, do it on the weekend. Talk to your spouse about it and GET ON THE SAME PAGE!  Here is a blog I read about potty training in one day: (I know it sounds crazy but this is a GREAT read) The Moe’s Family – These are the days

Here is a GREAT video I watched on some tips with potty training: http://vimeo.com/7643151

**In this video they talk about using a favorite stuffed animal to demonstrate going potty. We did that with Sage the very first time and she LOVED it. I did not show her again for this last and official time because she remembered and is also older and understood the potty situation**

3.)    GO SHOPPING! – take your child to the dollar store, target dollar aisle, candy store, WHATEVER! By their favorite stuff or something that will perk their interest. Talk about why you are getting it and that it’s for every time they go potty. Make a “treasure chest” (or box or basket… whatever you have) and set it out where they can see it a few days in advance. Also buy your supplies. Potty seat, heavy undies and fun undies. And either pull ups or plastic pants for sleep times. Remember all of this is a big deal and if you are super excited about it your child will be too. Also make sure you have plenty of juice and snacks for throughout the day. Oh side note: Sage was VERY upset that she wasn’t getting a few of the toys that she picked out right away. I used that and said “I know your upset but I can’t wait to give it to you when you go pee or poop on the potty!”

4.)    Make sure your friends and family know That PT is happening and have ZERO distraction on your first day- I think this is the most important part of the whole process. Facebook won’t miss you, your friends will understand and your mother will live another day.  You HAVE TO devote your time to this child in training. If you have to get a babysitter for the other kids, DO IT! If you have to wait until your spouse is home all day, by all means wait.

DAY ONE OF PT:

  • First thing in the morning- wake up BEFORE your child in training. Get your coffee in and whatever other things you usually do throughout the day (today is not the day to care about a perfectly clean house). Get child out of bed, clean them up from last night’s mess, put on undies RIGHT AWAY as well as just a t-shirt. Start talking excitedly about today’s adventures!
  • Start pumping that kid up with liquid!- Milk, juice, water.. fill’er up! Set your timer for 20 minutes. Now the waiting begins.
  • Once the timer goes off walk your child to the potty and sit them down with maybe a toy or a book. This is where the process really begins. It could take up to 30-40 minutes of sitting and waiting for them to pee. It could take a few tries. With Sage she didn’t go the first initial sit down so I sat the timer again for another 5 minutes and she still didn’t go. 2.5 hours after she woke up I finally got her to try and pee by encouraging her with a sucker as her reward! Find your child’s trigger. I am not against bribery in this situation. You will find what works for you guys but don’t leave them to sit on the potty alone. And be very patient. You may have an accident or two before they get to the potty. Whatever the case make sure when it does happen they know how awesome it is!!
  • AND NOW IT’S TIME TO DANCE- Sing, shout, jump up and down, clap loudly make a fool of yourself!!! This kid needs to know the amazing-ness of going potty. Like I said before, encouragement goes A LONG WAY! Continue to do this every time they potty today. (it’s even better when someone else gets in on it J)
  • Treasure box – Let them pick whatever they want. This is what encourages them. This is a special treat and you will keep telling them how lucky they are, how special they are and how good of a kid they are for going in the potty like a big kid.
  • Call a relative or friend- We called daddy and Gigi after her first time so she could tell them about her PT. It was a huge hit and she now loves telling people that she went potty. (and thanks to those who got randomly told by Sage and STILL acted overly excited for her. You made her day J)
  • Fill them up again with liquid and restart the timer- we went every 30 minutes after her first initial pee.
  • Continue this all until the end of the day

Few extra notes

If or when your child has an accident DO NOT PUNISH THEM! I am not a “no spank mom” but I do not think this is the time to be hard on them and in turn making them not want to at all. If Sage is doing awesome and then down the road she has an accident because she flat out didn’t want to potty, that’s different. Make sure that your toddler knows that you are not mad at them but instead rush them to the potty and sit them down encouraging them that pee and poop are ONLY for the potty. (the blog I listed recommended using the doll to demonstrate an accident. So that’s a thought)

I know that every child is different. I know that some kids are ready by the time they are 18 months and some parents fully believe that waiting until they are 3 is the magic number. You do what is best for you and your family. I would have started earlier but we were moving and there is no way I am waiting any longer. I really believe in my heart that every parent knows their own child and when the timing is right.

Some people like using just candy M&M’s for a treat and some would rather toys or books. I scored huge at Target getting their dollar section at 70% off so I got a load of prizes for 30 cents each. There is no need to go overboard. You can make anything seem amazing to a little kid if you know what excites them.

Be patient. I mean patient like you have never had before. You will have to be flexible the first day because you are both learning. People only warned you about sleepless nights. No one ever warns you that potty training is the least fun in parenting. Well, so far…

You really, really, really should try to give all your focus on your child for the first day. Play games, do crafts and read a lot of books. Try not to get caught up in your house, on your phone or outside sources. You are learning just as much as your child. It’s important that you are there for them. Do your best.

We are using currently using diapers for bedtime just until she is accident free for a decent amount of time. We are one week in and Sage is now pooping in the potty so soon we will be diaper free. For some, using a pull up is the answer for the whole process. I strongly discourage this. The child needs to know what it feels like to mess on them. Having big girl panties to Sage was a HUGE deal!! Remember, encouragement goes a long way. Diapers pull the mess away from the body as Underwear allows the mess. I know it’s no fun to clean it up but I am certain you will PT faster without pull ups during the day.

If your child is talking about sitting on the potty, showing interest, or telling you all the time that they want to go potty don’t hold them back! Run to the store, get a bag of m&m’s and start the next day! Or at least continue to say good things about it until you can set a day aside to do it. Some people start small and sit kids on the potty right before bed at a young age. I think this is great and sparks a great interest. I’m hoping with our next child we can do things a little differently.

Pooping is a huge issue with potty training and always the last thing to happen. For some, that’s months out. Look at some positives when it comes to PT. They’re at least going pee during the day and probably staying dry from naps. If they are pooping and telling you THAT’S GREAT TOO! I know it’s a pain but continue to talk about it in a positive way. Some kids just get it, some don’t. Either way it will happen! There are a lot of great sources out there if this is a continued problem for you. Just stay encouraged mama. It will come in time. For Sage it happened just in the last 2 days. I threw her poop in the potty from her accidents and saved her prizes from the treasure box for not pee any more but poop. Again, huge hit!

Lastly if none of this works for you, THAT’S OK!!! You are not a terrible mom if you go against the grind. If you fully believe that kids can decide for themselves when they are ready then by all means wait. But when you do decide to tackle this mountain please do at least one thing from all of this… ENCOURAGE. I think Potty training hasn’t been that much of a challenge for us because Sage thrives off of encouragement. And what kid doesn’t?! At any age you need to pump them up with encouragement in any new venture.

Again, every child is different. Some kids have zero issues, some kids it takes months. On day two Sage started telling us she had to go potty and I never set a timer. This is not a normal situation. I still watch the clock and after an hour I take her if she hasn’t said anything. I made no plans for the whole week we were training but decided to take her to the pool on day 3 because she was doing so well. I knew she could handle a few hours out and about.

All in all I hope this helped a little for those of you who had questions. I am sure I didn’t cover everything so please ask questions. I am no pro but I have read a lot of resources and talked to a lot of mommy friends. Oh and of course, if you have a friend in this situation and you’ve been there and done that, just be a source of encouragement. Potty training is harder on the mama then it is on the babe.

And remember, no one will care how old they were when they finally potty trained the day they graduate from high school.

Power to the mama’s!!

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